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Shani Davis

United States

SportShort Track
NOCUnited States
Born13 Aug 1982 in Chicago, IL 
FamilySon Ayize
Main Achievements
Main Achievements
World Championships
World Championships
    5000m Relay     1  
Social Media
Social Media  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportHe initially tried roller skating but quickly became bored as he would get in trouble for skating around the rink too fast. At age six a coach suggested he switch to ice skating. Shortly after his mother started working for a lawyer, whose son was involved in speed skating at an elite level. These influences led him to switch, and he joined the Evanston Speed Skating Club the same year.  
When and where did you begin this sport?He began roller skating at age two in Chicago, IL, United States of America. He took up skating on ice at age six at the Evanston Speed Skating Club, also in Chicago.  
General Interest
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievementWinning a gold medal in the 1000m at the 2015 World Single Distances Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands. (, 16 Jun 2017; Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
Awards and honoursHe received the Oscar Mathisen Award in 2005 and 2009, and the Major Taylor Award in 2006. (, 20 Oct 2012)

In 2005 he was named US Speed Skating Athlete of the Year. (US Speed Skating, 18 Apr 2005)
Sporting philosophy / motto"Just do it." (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
Other informationRETIREMENT
In November 2019 he announced his retirement from the sport. He planned to take up a coaching role with Chinese elite junior skaters in the lead-up to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. "It was just enough. I had a long career, and there's other things that I wanted to do with my life. Skating will always be my first love, so I'm happy I'm able to stay close to it." (, 24 Nov 2019)

After finishing second in the 1000m at the 2016 World Cup event in Heerenveen, Netherlands, he passed Jeremy Wotherspoon's tally of 13009 points to become the all-time leading points scorer at World Cup events. "I did not expect to ever pass Jeremy. He is a class apart." (, 13 Dec 2016)

Growing up in a single parent family in Chicago, IL, United States of America, he jokes that his quest for speed began when he had to run away from tougher kids. Getting into speed skating also brought him some unwanted attention. "It takes a lot of courage to step out and do something different, especially if it's not popular. People are always going to find something negative to draw out of something you love. All my friends made fun of me, but I found ways to make fun of them. Now, they're like, 'I can't believe you stuck with it, man. We used to give you so much crap'." (, 02 Nov 2005)
Hero / IdolUS basketballer Michael Jordan, Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba. (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
InjuriesHe was affected by a groin injury during the 2012/13 season. (, 01 Oct 2013)  
Other sportsIn 2004 he became the first US skater to be on both the short track and speed skating national team for a world championships. He achieved the same feat in 2005. (, 23 May 2005)  
Most influential person in careerHis mother. (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
MilestonesAt the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver he became the first male speed skater to win two Olympic gold medals in the 1000m, after he also claimed victory at the 2006 Games in Turin. (, 18 Feb 2010; SportsDeskOnline, 15 Dec 2020)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2004/2005 World Championships 5000m Relay3  
    2001/2002 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay4  
    2000/2001 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay4  
    2003/2004 World Championships 5000m Relay8  
    2001/2002 World Junior Championships Overall10  
    1999/2000 World Junior Championships Overall11  
    2000/2001 World Junior Championships Overall14  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2004/2005 World Cup Beijing 5000m Relay2  
    2004/2005 World Cup Overall16  
    2004/2005 World Cup 1500m16  
    2004/2005 World Cup 1000m19  
    2004/2005 World Cup 500m29  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1000m32  
    2002/2003 World Cup Overall50  
    2002/2003 World Cup 1500m51  
    2002/2003 World Cup 1000m56  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1500m66  
    2007/2008 World Cup 500m72  
    2002/2003 World Cup 500m72  
    2007/2008 World Cup 1000m88  
    2007/2008 World Cup 1500m97